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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.88
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Sept. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Pennsylvania State University
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution an active member of a national or international sustainability network?:
Yes

The name of the national or international sustainability network(s):

- Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
- Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS)
- U.S. Green Building Council.(USGBC)
- National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) - NCSE's University Affiliate Program advances environmental and energy programs across the nation's campuses
- Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N)
- Sustainability Tools for Assessing & Rating (STAR) Communities, University affiliate
- Examples of national student sustainability organizations with Penn State chapters include: Engineers for a Sustainable World, Net Impact, The American Solar Energy Society, Global Brigades, and many more. See Credit EN-3 for additional student affiliations.


Is the institution an active member of a regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network?:
Yes

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):

- Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC), a state-wide network of over 55 sustainability-leading colleges and universities in PA
- Big Ten and Friends Sustainability Group, an informal network of sustainability representatives at Big Ten and other universities


Has the institution presented at a sustainability conference during the previous year? :
Yes

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):

Examples include:
- AASHE 2016 Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD. Presentation examples include:
"Learning the Language of Executive Leadership to Increase Sustainability's Value" (co-presenters M. Gulich, Purdue Univ. and D. Wardrop, Penn State Univ)
"Working with supply chain partners to achieve zero waste goals" (co-presented by J. Michael and M. Shahri, both of Penn State)
"Organizational Design for a Living World: Unleashing Agility, Engagement, Idea Flow and Purpose" (co-presented by L. Sharp, Harvard Univ and D. Wardrop, Penn State Univ)

2016 Smart and Sustainable Campuses conference, Baltimore, MD.
"Living Lab Key Elements: A PSU Case Study" (presented by P. Buckland, Penn State Univ)

2016 PERC Annual Meeting/ Fall Conference, University Park, PA
"Finding a Better Future in Changing Times: Energy, Environment and Sustainability" (presented by Dr. R. Alley, Penn State)


Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to a sustainability awards program that is inclusive of multiple campuses? :
Yes

A list or brief description of the awards program(s) and submission(s):

Five teams of MBA students from programs across the United States competed for $17,500 in prize money Dec. 1-2, 2016 in the third annual Penn State Smeal College of Business MBA Sustainability Case Competition. Penn State finished 2nd.

A team of Penn State Smeal College of Business MBA students took first place in the National MBA Case Competition in Ethical Leadership held at Baylor University in Waco, Texas in Nov 2016.


Has the institution had staff, students or faculty serving on a board or committee of a sustainability network or conference during the previous three years? :
Yes

A list or brief description of the board or committee appointment(s):

- Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC) Executive Committee Member (Brandi Robinson)
- PERC President 2015 (Sue Barsom)
- PERC Climate Change Taskforce (Peter Buckland)
- Big Ten and Friends Sustainability Group co-chair (Denice Wardrop)
- STAR Communities National Rating System Steering Committee (Michele Halsell)
- National Organic Standards Board (David Mortensen)
- Clearwater Conservancy Board of Directors (Steve Maruszewski, Erik Foley)
- Friends and Farmers, President (Jeremy Bean)
- Sustainability Curriculum Consortium Advisory, Board Member (Peter Buckland)
- Colleges and Universities Recycling Coalition, Board Member (Doug Goodstein)
- International Society of Sustainability Professionals, Board Member 2016 (Erik Foley)


Does the institution have an ongoing mentoring relationship with another institution through which it assists the institution with its sustainability reporting and/or the development of its sustainability program?:
Yes

A brief description of the mentoring relationship and activities:

Penn State's University Park campus, which is represented by this STARS report, works with other Penn State campuses to foster sustainability programs. In particular, staff at the UP campus are working with four of Penn State's commonwealth campuses to roll out the Sustainable Communities Collaborative engaged scholarship program in Fall 2017. Likewise, UP campus staff are helping other Penn State campuses offer a core course in sustainability leadership (SUST 200), as well as the Sustainability Leadership minor. And UP campus staff are supporting Green Teams and the Green Paws office sustainability practices program at other Penn State campuses.

Over the past three years, Sustainability Institute (SI) staff have traveled to other institutions to share their work on incorporating sustainability into the strategic planning process. In 2016 two SI staff members delivered a faculty development seminar at the University of Richmond.


Has the institution had staff, faculty, or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data (e.g. GHG emissions or course inventory) and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:
No

A brief description of the peer review activities:
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Has the institution participated in other collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year, e.g. joint planning or resource sharing with other institutions? :
Yes

A brief description of other collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year:

From 2013 to 2016, Penn State co-led an initiative with the Big Ten and Friends Sustainability Group to create the "Big Ten Prospectus", an effort to understand and measure sustainability's contribution to mission-level priorities and begin a conversation with executive leadership about high-impact collaborations that will help our institutions adapt and thrive in a changing landscape.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.